According to the Financial Times, Oracle chairman and co-founder Larry Ellison's software giant has held preliminary talks with TikTok's parent company ByteDance, giving assumed frontrunner Microsoft Corp. a potential competitor in its bid for the over 800 million-user app.
Oracle has reportedly been working in partnership with venture capital firms like General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital – which already have a stake in ByteDance – and is "seriously considering” buying the app's operations in America, Canada, Australia and New Zeland, according to the report.
Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Twitter Inc. had also approached ByteDance to express interest in TikTok's U.S.-based operations. However, there were said to have been “concerns” about its financial capacity for the deal.
Additionally, the Financial Times noted on Monday that Microsoft had also earnestly considered a takeover of TikTok's global operations past the nations it had previously highlighted at the beginning of the month.
Microsoft is allegedly particularly interested in buying TikTok operations in Europe and India, where it was recently banned by the Indian government amid a border standoff with China.
Yet, according to the Times, ByteDance is opposed to selling any further assets beyond those in the U.S. Canada, Australia and New Zeland.
Billionaire Ellison is notably one of the few U.S. tech executives who has been publicly supportive of the president's administration.
A deal to buy TikTok across regional lines would be unprecedented.
While ByteDance hasn’t named a price for its sale publicly, TikTok’s success led the company to become the world’s most valuable startup in 2018.
In an effort to take on rumors about the company, on Monday TikTok unveiled a new information hub and Twitter account that they hope will "shine a light on the facts and set the record straight" after the Trump administration accused the company of providing its user data to the Chinese government.